Edit received mail in Outlook

mail_stack When teaching a course i get these great questions from students how to perform a specific task. For a long time i have been trying to figure out how to perfom this task. Is this even possible. For a lot of people these questions seem simple. But for a lot of people the answer to their question can be a real eye opener! So this time i bumped into this question. Is it possible to edit the mail i receive. What i want to do is not reply to the mail but just make a quick note in the mail itself. If possible i want outlook to remind me at certain times. Maybe i can use this Follow Up feature? In this blogpost i will try to visualize the answer to this question. For this example i used a mail with a list of things to remind me and certain tasks i needed to do. I did not want to create a task via the taskobject.

So let’s get started. Open Outlook and open a mail you want to edit.

When you have openend your email you will be in seperate window. You will see that the ribbon consists of two tabs File and Message. In the Move group click on the Actions button. This will reveal some actions you can take at this time (see picture). Click on the Edit Message button. When you have done this you will see that the additional tabs in the ribbon are activated. The mouse cursor will be blinking in the body of your email. You can now edit your mail Edit_I

So this is my mail. In the picture below you see the same mail twice. On the left is the original message. On the right you see the message which i have edited. Not really spectacular but it gets the job done.

Edit_II edit_III

Edit_IV So what i want to do now is save the message an create a Follow Up so i can edit this list in this email from time to time. Click the save button on the Quick Access Toolbar. Your message is saved. Now with the message still opened click the Follow Up option in the ribbon. You will find follow up in group Tags in the Messages tab in the ribbon. Click the This Week option. This will give you a full week before Outlook will starts sendig you reminders about this email. Nice, a notification shows up in your mail. This will tell you the exact dates when this follow up will start and end. Yep this is how we want it. So you can close the email message now.


The last thing is to find out how this is made visible in your Outlook.

When you return to Outlook after closing the email you can see the follow up appear at the bottom right of your screen in the taskbar. It will show Today and will continu to do so for this whole week. When you want to make an alteration to the email you can double click the follow up task in the tasklist. This wil automatically open the email and you can pick Edit again as described above. Edit_VI

That’s it! You can edit a received email easily and create a follow up if you want to. So what are you waiting for… give it a try and happy edits 🙂

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